Archives = a repository of data.

We thought that those who visited this website, would like to know about the recipients who received awards from Nick's Fund in the past. We have been giving out awards from Nick's Fund since June 2002, giving the award to two students each year, until last year when we gave it to four. The awards to each student, have gone from $1,000.00 to
$2,500.00 each, which was given last year to four deserving students.

Our involvement with the ING NYC Marathon Charity Program has made it possible to raise the kind of money that allows us to give higher awards and to more students. We are definitely accomplishing our goals.

Please click on the year below that you are interested in and the information regarding the recipients who received the awards that year will appear.


During the years above, Port Richmond High School held the fund money in a communal fund they had established for that purpose. There really hadn't been any fundraising until that point, the money in the fund came to us through word of mouth, from people also touched by 9/11, who knew Nick or someone in his family or just wanted to give assistance to a cause they believed in. We gave out our first awards to the recipients from these funds. We hadn't established any protocol, the athletic department gave their recommendation and those were the students who received the award. Of course, they had to meet our criteria. They each received a $ 1,000.00 award from Nick's Fund.

The recipients during those years were as follows:
2002: Nicole Renzi and George McGuire
2003: Elizabeth Drozd and Marvin Jenkins
2004: Crystal Palfni and John Ring



During 2005, the family decided it was time to take control of Nick's fund and begin to raise more money with the hope that we would be able to give out larger awards to deserving students. We hired an accountant, had the fund incorporated and began to brainstorm as to the best way to raise money. In the meantime June, 2005 rolled around and two more students were chosen to be recipients of Nick's awards. This was the frst year that we actually met with the recipients after they received their awards. We wanted to take more of an interest in the students, getting to know them a bit. At that meeting each student gave us some background information, we gave them one of Nick's memorial tees and information as to how the awards would be disbursed. Each recipient received $ 1,000.00 from Nick's Fund.

They were:
Jessica Nieto and Miguel Sosa

Jessica played on the volleyball team while attending PRHS. She claims that it was one of her favorite programs and that she learned a great deal about teamwork and working with others. She also was in the chorus program and was even made section leader which was an honor for her she states. Jessica will attend the College of Staten Island where she plans to master in elementary education and minor in child psychology. Getting a Ph.D. is also an idea she has been toying with. With a Ph.D., she could possibly become a college professor. She loves children and really wants to teach. A new job in a Day Care Center will help her to get some hands on training.

Miguel was on the Baseball varsity team for three years playing 2nd and 3rd base and 2nd pitcher. He also played JV basketball during his freshman and sophomore years, but opted to quit basketball and focus more on baseball, his sport of choice. In his senior year He led the PSAL in doubles and was awarded at Shea Stadium. Miquel claims that his mother would only allow him the time for baseball if he kept up his grades, which he did. He will be attending St. Peter's College in New Jersey and will partake in their baseball program.


The recipients chosen to receive an award from Nick's Fund were:
Nancy Almazo and Jahsee Pickering

Nancy was involved in the Tennis Program while attending Port Richmond High School. She studied Illustration, Advanced Placement Italian, Economics and English. She received awards such as School Art League Saint Gauden Medal, the Med Tech Service Award, the Guidance Service Award, Cooperation in Government Award, and the Citizenship Award. Nancy will be attending the Fashion Institute of Technology. She would like to make a career in the illustration of children's books.

Jahsee was involved in the football program during his years at Port Richmond, serving as Co-Captain of his Junior Varsity Team. That year the J.V. won a championship and during his senior year the Raiders were rated 2nd in NYC. His course of studies was diverse with subjects such as Virtual Enterprise, Pre-Calculus, French, and Film Making. Jahsee has chosen to attend SUNY Cortland. He was advised that Cortland had an excellent Liberal Arts Program and not being sure of the career he wanted to pursue, he felt that Cortland was a good choice. Though he has given some thought to working in the field of sociology. Both Nancy and Jahsee received a $ 1,000.00 award from Nick's Fund.


Our practice in the past was to award each qualifying recipient with $1,000.00, however, because of our very successful fundraiser through our involvement with the ING NYC Marathon in November of 2006, we were now able to double the award to each recipient, and each received $ 2,000.00.

This year recipients were:
Sandra DeVito and Thomas Fernan.

Sandra grew up in an athletic environment and attained a positive, competitive and determined attitude. She claimed that by the time she was seven she was on a gymnastics team and was practicing five days a week for three hours a day, all while maintaining an “A” average. Gymnastics was her sport of choice and passion, so was life at Port Richmond.  During her time at Port Richmond she actively searched for the road in life she wanted to follow. She found and read a book on Physical Therapy and the seed was planted. Sandra's senior year was spent in the Collegiate Academy at Port Richmond. During the four years at PRHS she worked to keep up her grades and discovered through volunteer work, the beauty of helping others. She has been awarded the Service Above Self Scholarship from the Kingsborough Community College - College Now Program Award, the St. John!s University All County Athletic Award, the PRHS Medal for Excellence in Athletics, and the English Department Award of Honors. She has excelled in her academics. Sandra will attend Kean University in Union, NJ and will major in Physical Therapy. She has many excellent credentials and is sure to succeed.

Thomas was involved in the Football Program during his years at PRHS. He reports that the favorite part of being a student at Port Richmond High School was his interaction with the teachers. He claims that they not only helped him academically, they always went one more step beyond by motivating him to do his best. He feels that if it weren't for some of his favorite teachers he would not have given his all as a student. It was nice to hear him commending the teachers, it is not always the case with young people today. Thomas made the merit roll eight times for academic achievement. He was named Advance All Star twice for his athletic achievements during his football career there. In his senior year he was chosen to partake in the annual Fugazzi Bowl and walked away with the award for Defensive Most Valuable Player. Thomas also states, that he was very impressed by the recognition he received for community service. He was awarded a certificate for helping an elderly lady by shoveling her out each time it snowed. He did that for two years. He says that he found his years at Port Richmond to be both fun and rewarding. He states that for him it was not easy, and graduation in itself was a gift and definitely worth all the hard work. Thomas will be attending and playing football for Allan Hancock College located in California in the fall.


Each year since the inception of the fund we have given our recipients $ 1,000.00 each, However, in 2006 we began our association with the ING NYC Marathon as a Charity Partner and as a result, we have been able to increase the award to each student to $2,000.00 in 2007 and now $ 4,000.00 to each student in 2008. The fund is so grateful for this association because it allows us to keep Nick's memory alive in a big way and to keep on doing what Nick had always done, help others. We are certainly realizing our goal.

The criteria for a student athlete to receive an award from the fund, is having to face adversity, overcoming it and going on to achieve. Our two recipients this year have certainly done this.

They are:
Laurie Blaine and Nick Taber

Laurie, a permanent honor roll student took the usual, English, Math, History, and Science, but the course she enjoyed the most was music and her part in the jazz band in particular. She loves music and pays the trumpet. She earned the title of Student of the Month in Music. She was also selected as Raider of the Month. Laurie will attend the college at Oneonta in the Fall of 2008, and will major in Music. Her life path will probably lead her to a career in music. She feels that she is very good at what she does and doesn't want to give it up, saying that she really enjoys it. She claims that she is not sure how she will apply what she learns at Oneonta, but at this time she is toying with the idea of being a music teacher.

Nick's sport of choice was football. However, even though playing football took up a great deal of his time, especially during season, he received honors in all his studies at Port Richmond. He studied, A.P., English, Italian Global History, American History, Calculus and Physics. He enjoyed A.P. and Physics the most he said, claiming these challenged him making them more interesting. He received honor roll status, and earned two Blue Chip Awards. He also received the Scholar Athlete Award and the Student Athlete Award as well. Nick stated that although he would like to have a successful football experience at Western New England College, more importantly he wants to work hard and do well in his studies. He will be taking courses in Engineering. Getting a job in this field after college graduation will enable him to earn an excellent starting salary. He certainly seems to have what it takes to do that.


2009, a great year to run the marathon on Nick’s Team or be the recipient of Nick’s scholarship award. The awards were given out at the Port Richmond High School Awards Assembly held on Tuesday, June 2, 2009. Donna, Nick’s sister, gave out the awards this year. This year the award was given to four student athletes, each meeting the necessary criteria, and each receiving $ 2,500.00. To follow is a picture, their names and a little about each of them.


L. to R. Johnna Blunt, Frank Zerbo, Barbara Scaramuzzino, Jeremy Ramos, and Rosalyn Joseph.

Johnna Blunt: Johnna excelled in track and field during the time she was at PRHS. She received 1st place in the 100m dash, 2nd place in the 4X100m relay, and 1st place in the 4X100m relay. She will continue to run track and ?eld in college in the fall, attending Delaware State University, located in Dover, Delaware. With a passion for journalism in high school, she states her dream is to work as a sports broadcaster and journalist. She will take communications to further her skills and experience.

Frank Zerbo: Frank was involved in football, baseball and basketball while attending Port Richmond High School. He was awarded the Paul Zemachson Memorial Scholarship, and was named Staten Island Advance All-Star. Frank was also involved in Community Services, stating that he felt the involvement made him a better person. Frank will attend Wagner College located on Staten Island in the fall, 2009.

Jeremy Ramos: Jeremy took on football and track & ?eld while attending PRHS. Jeremy was voted one of the “Top Ten” quarterbacks in NYC. He received all City Honors, All Boro Honors, and was also named a Staten Island Advance All-Star. A requirement, Jeremy also took part in Community Service. He stated that he loved setting a good example for the younger students coming up. They look up to me, and that makes me feel great. Jeremy will attend St. Lawrence University located in Canton, New York in the fall, 2009.

Rosalyn Joseph: Rosalyn was involved in Varsity basketball and softball while attending PRHS. She received the PSAL Award and a certi?cate of Merit. Because of her basketball prowess, she was voted Raider of the Month in April, 2009. Rosalyn's dream is to teach children, especially working with children with developmental problems. Her involvement in the community, especially working with young children and senior citizens made her feel that life was worth living. Rosalyn will attend Staten Island Community College in the fall of 2009.


This year Port Richmond High School Awards Assembly was held on Tuesday, June 8th.  I had the pleasure of presenting our awards this year.  We had received information about five student athletes, kids that definitely fit the criteria that we had put in place.  The coaches keep a watchful eye and ear all year long, getting to know their team members quite well, well enough to know if they would be a candidate for Nick's award. 

Nick's sister and brothers and myself reviewed all the information and unanimously decided that the 2010 awards would go to Guiliana Spinelli and Tony Curtis.  The amount of the award to go to each of the recipients was $5,000.00 this year.  Our involvement with the ING NYC Marathon as a Charity Partner since 2006 has given us the ability to afford to do this.  We are hoping for an exemplary fundraiser this year in preparation for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.

On Wednesday, June 16th I met with Guiliana and Tony.  It has been a practice for a while now to meet with the recipients after the Awards Assembly.  The kids know that they are receiving an award because they are invited to the assembly, however, they do not know which one.  My meeting with them before then would spoil the element of surprise.  Therefore, it is a necessity to wait. 

It was such a pleasure meeting with them.  They shared a bit with me, Guiliana more than Tony, he seemed a little shy.  I would like to share a bit about each of this year's recipients with you:

Guiliana Spinelli: While in Port Richmond, Guiliana was a member of the Volleyball Team.  She took courses such as AP Physics, AP Calculus, and AP American Government.  When asked, "What course in particular did you enjoy the most and why?"  she answered, "I enjoyed my mathematics and physics classes the most because they helped me to discover my career path."  She aspires to be a Secondary Education Mathematics Teacher and High School Volleyball Coach.  She plans on attending the University of Connecticut in the Fall of 2010, however while attending Port Richmond she received such accolades as Executive Chairperson of the National Honor Society, Student of the Month, Raider of the Month, Attendance Award, "Be a Champion Essay Winner" and Port Richmond Alumni Scholarship Award.

Tony Curtis: Tony was a member of the Football Team while attending Port Richmond.  As stated above, Tony seemed quiet, reserved and a little shy.  Tony took courses such as AP Physics, Math, English, and Social Studies.  He did claim that he enjoyed Economics the most because he actually got to understand the value of money and was fascinated by all the different ways one could make money aside from what could be made from a chosen career.  A little vague at this point about a chosen career path, he claims that he hopes for success in the career he does come to choose.  He knows for sure though that he wants to be a good role model for teenagers like himself who had to grow up without a father.  He will be attending St. Johns University on Staten Island in the fall.  The curriculum he will be taking is Liberal Arts and Criminal Justice.  While at Port Richmond he earned accolades such as City Council Citation 2008, PSAL Championships, Deborah Ciacciarelli Memorial Scholarship, and The S.I. Fuggazzi Football Award



On Tuesday, 6/7/2011, I was present at the Port Richmond High School Awards Assembly and awarded our scholarship to three deserving Student Athletes. Students who attend the Awards Assembly, know that they are getting an award/s, however they do not know which ones. I once again made the presentation and the awards went to, Austin Chea, Abiola (Abby) Baruwa, and Tiara Summers.

As a family, we review all the information that comes to us about all the candidates that have been recommended for the award. We unanimously agreed on the three above.

On 6/24/2011, I met with Austin, Abby and Tiara. Until our meeting, the recipients were not aware of the amount of the award they were receiving from Nick's Fund. When I told them that they would be receiving $ 5,000.00 each, the look on their faces should have been recorded. Their words of thanks meant a lot. We spoke with each other for a while. I presented them with a memorial tee shirt and a "Tribute To Nicky Love DVD". I found the three recipients to be extremely congenial and well spoken. I enjoyed my visit with them a great deal. We took our picture together for this article and saying goodbye, I wished them the best and told them to keep in touch! A little about each of the recipients is to follow:

2011 Award Recipients - Austin Chea, Barbara Scaramuzzino, Tiara Summers, Abby Baruwa

Austin Chea, Barbara Scaramuzzino, Tiara Summers, Abby Baruwa

Tiara Summers - Tiara took courses such as Film, Geometry, Government and Marine Science. She claims that Marine Science was particularly interesting to her and she received good marks in that class, she says that she just loved learning about marine life. Tiara ran track for Port Richmond High and was a member of the cheerleading squad. She won MVP for Track & Field, was voted the Fastest Female Runner on Staten Island, and she won the President's Award for Educational Achievement. She will be attending Alfred State University SUNY College in Alfred, New York. While attending Alfred she will be taking the necessary courses needed to pursue a career in Nursing.

Abiola (Abby) Baruwa - Abby played volleyball for Port Richmond and was on the Gymnastic Team. Scholastically doing very well during the years that she attended Port Richmond. Abby took a few A.P. classes, but states that AP Government was the course she enjoyed the most. She claimed that it was the only course that academically challenged her, stating both the teacher and the course itself pushed her to think in ways she wasn't used to and allowed her to think outside the box.

Abby was a member of National Honors Society, Permanent Honor Roll, and received the Perfect Attendance Award. She received the Presidential Citizenship Award, Presidential Award for Educational Excellence and Educational Achievement. She also earned the English Department Award of Honor, and the UFT Award of Social Studies. Abby will be attending Brooklyn College in the fall. In her fall semester she will be majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology. She claims that she has many aspirations for the future and is considering a career in law (Attorney), medicine (Neurologist) and psychology (Forensic). She is also considering being a History Professor.

Austin Chea - Austin was involved with LaCrosse first and then played Basketball for Port Richmond High. During his senior year in Port Richmond Austin took, Honors English, Government, A.P. Physics, Pre-Calculus, was in the JROTC, the Jazz Band and the Marching Band. When asked what he enjoyed best out of all of those, he says it was the Jazz Band because he felt he got the chance to better understand the instrument he plays and to increase his skills. He was the Captain of the Wrestling Team, earning twelve (12) PSAL Championship Medals, he also won the Music Award. Austin will attend the Community College of Staten Island in the Fall, he will major in Biology. He aspires to graduating college, and then joining the U.S. Air Force and will use his G.I. Bill to help him pay for Medical School after he completes his two years of Service on Active Duty.



The Port Richmond High School Awards Assembly took place this year on June 5th. Donna, Nicks sister presented the awards this year. What made it very special was Donna had along to present, her daughter Angela, and her sons Nicky and James. To make it even better, one of our 2011 team members, Doreen Rizzi, joined them in the presentation as well.

The two recipients were Deanna Sims and Matthew Wojcik. The family, together to celebrate Nick's birthday reviewed the applications and it was a unanimous decision.

On June 25th, I had the pleasure, along with Donna to meet with the recipients as we do each year in the college office the day of graduation exercises. Both Deanna and Matthew were present.

2012 Award Recipients - Deanna Sims, Barbara Scaramuzzino, Matthew Wojcik, Donna Mattera

Deanna Sims:

A beautiful young woman, very congenial and an honor student. Deanna took Honors English, Honors Math, Honors Science, AP language, AP literature, AP Biology, AP World History, AP American History, AP Government. She was part of the Symphonic Band and Medical Technology. Certainly a sign that she is a very bright and not afraid of her abilities. She claims that she enjoyed her AP Biology course in particular because is loved learning how the body works and why certain things happen in the human body.

Deanna was on the Honor Roll, she made Arista, she was a majorette in the Port Richmond High School Marching Band receiving a Music Award. She was chosen Raider of the month and received awards for outstanding attendance and the Total Raider Award. At one time or another during her years at Port Richmond H.S., She participated in Varsity Softball, Varsity Basketball, and was on the Varsity Golf Team.

Deanna will be attending the College of Staten Island in the fall. She aspires to attend college past a four year degree and wants to become a registered nurse. Pediatric oncology nursing is something she is thinking about, she would love to be able to help children with cancer.

Matthew Wojcik:

What a really fine young man. Matthew took TV Media and really enjoyed stating he got to see and review movies he had never seen before.

While attending Port Richmond H.S. Matthew achieved and was placed on multiple merit roles, fall and spring term of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 fall term. He made Honor Roll 2012 Spring Term.

Matthew was a member of the P.R.H.S. Wrestling Team, 2009-2012. He was ranked number one this year for wins and has the best record in the five years of the program at Port Richmond.

Scholastically, Matthew has done exceptionally well. He plans to attend The College of Staten Island in the fall. To start, he has signed on for a liberal arts curriculum. He plans and is hoping to major in business.

Good luck to both of you in all your future endeavors!



This year, the awards were given out to the recipients by Nick's brother Chris. It was done at the Annual Awards Assembly held in the auditorium of Port Richmond High School. There were three recipients, Kayla Caraballo, Yassmen Hammam, and Sylvon Campbell. The award to each of the recipients was $3,500.00.

Shortly after the awards assembly, Stacie Watkins, the PRHS College Advisor set an appointment with me so that I could meet with the recipients. Nick's sister Donna joined me and we did this on June 24th, the day before graduation. It took a while before we could get them altogether, since they had been at graduation rehearsals and were picking up their caps and gowns.

I love meeting with the recipients. I learn a little about them from the essays they prepare for Nick's Fund, but you really get a good feel about them when you meet them in person. I usually chat with them, telling them a little about Nick and asking them questions about the next chapter in their lives, college. I bring along a tee shirt and a DVD for each of them. The DVD "A Tribute to Nicky Love", was put together by Nick's brother Chris to honor his brother after 9/11.

I will briefly tell you a little about each of the recipients:

KAYLA CARABALLO...........Kayla was on the Port Richmond High School Wrestling Team.  When asked how she was accepted as the only woman on an all male wrestling team, she said, “they were actually cool with it”.  I asked why she picked this particular sport and she said that she liked it because it was rough and tough.  Kayla kept up with her schoolwork, maintaining average grades throughout her time in Port Richmond. 

When asked had she given much thought to what goal/s she would like to attain in her life, she replied, “I want to be a corrections officer and taking criminal law in college would help me to achieve this goal”.

Community Service is required at Port Richmond, but Kayla went over and above, she volunteered at the Cora Hoffman Center, where she worked with persons with disabilities. She received Student of the Month and said the it felt great getting an award for helping others.

Kayla will attend Boro Manhattan Community College in Fall 2013 and will major in Criminal Law.

YASSMEN HAMMAM............Yassmen played volleyball while at Port Richmond.  She said that her Junior High School Coach recommended her to the coach at Port Richmond.  He saw a talent in Yassmen and felt that she would do well on her high school volley ball team.

Yassmen maintained above average grades while at Port Richmond.  She started taking AP classes beginning the first term of her Junior year.  However, she found her AP Biology class especially interesting because of her passion for science.  It also gave her a taste of the college experience.  Special honors and awards she received were, ARISTA, Gateway Honors Award for Global Studies, Algebra2/Trigonometry, and English.  She has been on the Honor Roll each year for all the years she attended Port Richmond.  She will be attending Stonybrook University in the Fall Term of 2013.  College she says, is a major part of her long term goal to become a doctor.  She wants to be a pediatrician.

Community Service in High School is mandatory and Yassmen has done her share.  Her favorite though was Raid Our Closet, a clothing donation store who stocks used and new Prom dresses for those in need.

SYLVON CAMPBELL............Sylvon was involved in football, basketball and track while attending Port Richmond High School. For his efforts and participation in these sports, he has received the Courage Award and the Leadership Award.  His family playing these sports obviously encouraged Sylvon to follow in their footsteps.  He claims he has developed a very competitive nature.

While in high school, Sylvon enjoyed his science classes the most.  His career goal is involves the field of science.  He claims that college and what he will learn there contributes a great deal to the education he needs to practice vetinary medicine. 

Sylvon will attend Norfolk State University in the fall of 2013.  He will major in Biology.



This year the awards were presented to the recipients by Nick's brother-in-law Vince Mattera at the Annual Awards Assembly held in the Port Richmond High School auditorium at the end of May.

To my disappointment, I could not meet with the recipients as I usually do because I had surgery then. I love meeting with the students. If I don't present the awards that given year, I don't meet the students until just before graduation at a prearranged meeting in Stacy Watkins office. Stacy is the college advisor at PRHS. I get to know the students somewhat by reading their essay submitted to us to be considered for the award. Meeting them in Stacy's office gives me a chance to get to know them a little better. This year I could not do that. We do not even have a picture of them to post here. I do have some information about them.

JOSHUA WAHNON While at Port Richmond high school, Joshua majored in Television Production and maintained an 80-85 average and achieved Merit Roll status. He played JV and Varsity baseball and basketball for PRHS for the entire four years he attended. He considers himself a true Raider. He compares himself to Nick stating that he grew up in a single-parent home with two siblings. He says he has played soccer, baseball, football and basketball and excelled in each sport. He claims though that his love for basketball comes first and that it has inspired him the most, motivating him to do the best in everything he does, especially his schoolwork.

He hopes to push himself academically and on the court while in college. Joshua is now attending Keuka College located in Keuka Park, New York. There he plans to major in sports management. He would like to coach in a high school one day stating that he would enjoy being a good role model to the youth of today.

ALEX BOUKHALEDWhile at Port Richmond high school, Alex was involved with wrestling all four years, and was Team Captain in his Senior Year. He also did two of the four in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps as well. Alex did not do so well with wrestling at first, losing competitions one after another. It was enough to make him want to quit, his self esteem was down, but he didn't. The following years after his first year saw improvements, but it wasn't until his Senior Year that he knew that he might not place with a medal in the City Championship, but he was certainly going to shine and he did.

Apart from wrestling, Alex enjoyed music and his English classes. He was a Life Scout with the Boys Scouts of America and was involved with much community service throughout his high school years.

Alex is now attending the College of Staten Island.




This year's Port Richmond High School Awards Assembly took place on May 27, 2015. The recipients of this years awards were Erin Babb and Jacky Lao. I presented the awards this year.

As we usually do, I met with the recipients in the College Advisor's Office, a practice I feel necessary because we choose our recipients only by studying the essay they submit and their student profiles, not by interview. It has to be done this way since they are invited to the awards assembly, but do not know which award they will be receiving. So this one on one meeting with the recipients is very important to us.

ERIN BABB..... Erin was involved in Track and Field while at Port Richmond. She chose track and field because she loved the emotional atmosphere and the camaraderie of the team. She was Staten Island Shot Put Champion. For those who do not know what Shot Put is, it's an athletic contest in which a very heavy round ball is thrown as far as possible.

Erin's favorite subject, the one she enjoyed the most was U.S. History, claiming as so many students do, that it wasn't the content, but the teacher who made learning about U.S. History a great experience.

Because of her love for sports and because she won't be playing professionally, her goal is to become a Sports Manager and manage the careers of sports professionals. Most high school kids MUST get involved in community service while in high school. Erin claims that she found helping to clean up after Super Storm Sandy overwhelming......because of the magnitude of the storm and all the people who were affected and needed help.

Erin will be attending Bethune Cockman University in Daytona Beach, Florida beginning the Fall semester, 2015.

JACKY LAO.....Jacky participated on the basketball, bowling and lacrosse teams. He claims he wanted to partake in after school activities.....his participation on basketball and lacrosse teams were of a more serious nature, his participation on the bowling team was just to have fun.

Jacky claims that gym was most enjoyable to him. He loves staying active and got along really well with all his gym teachers. He said that he loved getting the chance to help other students who needed help in certain sports, so he would coach them. Jacky's goals for the future is to use the knowledge he will attain from attending college to secure a good paying job so that he will be able to afford to own a home in a good environment.

Jacky used to live in a group home until he was fifteen and still goes back there to visit and volunteer to help kids with disabilities by mentoring and teaching them the things they need to learn or know for their futures. An excellent form of community service. Jacky will be attending the College of Staten Island in Staten Island, NY beginning with the fall semester 2015.



Eric Smith, Barbara Scaramuzzino, Zaire Francis.
Eric Smith, Barbara Scaramuzzino, Zaire Francis

This years Port Richmond High School Awards Assembly took place on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. The recipients of this year’s awards were Zaire FrancIs and Eric Smith. So glad to be able to present the awards again this year.

As we usually do, I met with the recipients in the College Advisor’s Office. This is a practice that I feel is necessary because we choose our recipients only by studying the essay that they submit and their student transcripts and profiles, not by interview. It has to be done this way since they are invited to the awards assembly, but do not know which award they will be receiving. So this one on one meeting with the recipients is very important to us.

ZAIRE FRANCIS..... I met with Zaire and Eric on the day that they had graduation practice and after the breakfast prepared for the students by the school. Zaire was involved with Track and Field while in PRHS, stating she initially got involved because she thought it would be a good way to lose weight, but she ended up loving the sport increasingly each day. Being good at it helped as well. She was awarded for her efforts and participation. She was named Rising Star Field Athlete, she place 2nd place in the City and made it to the States Finals, and received 13 medals.

She studied anatomy and physiology in high school and enjoyed it so much, she feels she would like to pursue a career in the medical field. She finds it interesting and challenging, so she will be majoring in health. So attending college is actually the first step she is taking in reaching her goals. She sees herself happy in this field of helping others.

Like the other students at school Zaire performed community service, which is required these days. She helped with teaching children, took part in various walks, blood drives or working at the food pantry, which helped her to see how many people needed help ing her community.

Zaire will be attending Lincoln University, located in Pennsylvania this coming fall. Of course we wish her the best!

ERIC SMITH.....Eric is a very quiet young man, not quite as big as I thought he would be, being a football player and all. However, I know from my own sons, being football coaches, that a player need not be real big to be talented. He loved that he could excel in the sport, stating that he always wanted to play even as a young kid.

Eric enjoyed the business classes he took in high school, he claimed he enjoyed learning about real life operations of a company. He will be studying computer science in college. He will be attending Buffalo State University in the fall.



Hannah James, Barbara Scaramuzzino, Moses Ramos
Hannah James, Barbara Scaramuzzino, Moses Ramos

The Port Richmond High School Awards Assembly took place this year on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. The Recipients this year were: Moses Ramos and Hannah James. The awards were presented this year by Nick’s brother-in-law, Vince Mattera.

I met with the Moses and Hannah on Monday, June 19, 2017.......I was very impressed with both students, they each made a great impression and I found them both to be very well spoken, intelligent and in touch with their emotions. I asked them if they were excited about their upcoming college experience. Moses seemed prepared for what was coming, however Hannah seemed apprehensive and a little frightened. Both emotions quite common. My feeling is they will both do well.

Upon reading their questionnaires which I ask them to complete, I see that Hannah was involved in soccer, softball, and basketball and I say to her that she must have been really busy. She answers by saying that she enjoys partaking in sports because for her they are a real stress reliever.

She claims that she took Forensics in her Junior year, claiming that, at that time, she wanted to be a homicide detective and Forensics was preparing her for what she would be doing.......however, she has made a 360 and because she would like to help children she will be taking courses at CSI that will help her attain a Bachelor’s degree; she wants to become a teacher. She would like to eventually attain a Master’s Degree in Education and will minor in psychology.

Students must do Community Service, it is required to graduate.......Hannah of course did her share. She claims that if a student does more than 500 hours over their high school career they can receive a scholarship. The others will get recognition for 100 hours or more of service.

Hannah will be attending the College of Staten Island beginning with the fall semester 2017.

Moses was involved in Track and Field and Soccer......he claims that when he was a kid he would always daydream about becoming a recognized athlete and while growing up he realized that under the right circumstances you could attain that, so he tried and continued the lifestyle, therefore the Track and Field and Soccer.

Moses claims that through his high school years the subjects that he enjoyed the most were related to business. In three years, he claims he learned so much about the business world that it became his utmost passion and he wants to explore all the possibilities there are to move in that direction.

He claims that his main goal in life is to work hard to reach his full potential and to help as many people as possible with what he does. He claims that he wants no regrets in his life as he grows older, he wants no “I could have” or “I should have”. He wants to live each day as if it was his last, giving it his all!

As I mentioned above Community Service is a part of High School life and is required to graduate. The amount of time you devote to this is a personal decision. He says he often gave up weekends to volunteer at an Elementary School. He coordinated and helped managed activities for the kids and he found it gratifying to observe the kids enjoying the activities that he had helped plan. He claims it was definitely worth giving his time.




This year Port Richmond High Schools Award Assembly took place on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Unfortunately I could not attend this year, so Naomi DelMastro Port Richmond’s College Advisor presented this years awards. The awards went to Hailey Schnell and Charles Virella. Since I didn’t get to present the awards this year I was excited to meet with our recipients, something we do each year after the assembly. This year the meeting took place in the College Office on Tuesday, June 19th.

After telling them how our awards system works and what they should expect I went on to get to know them somewhat.

HAILEY, seemed to be a very sweet, happy young woman. Hailey was on PRHS Bowling Team and on the JV Softball Team, which she claimed that she really enjoyed....when asked why she picked these sports she told me that these were sports that family members and friends had participated in, so she thought she would try them and she was glad she did because she loved them. She also was involved in cheerleading outside and after school.

She claims that her Living Environments Science Class was probably the class she most look forward to attending. She told me that all her teachers were fantastic......pushing her to her limits and over. She will be majoring in Medical Nursing, but says that she is still open to other options in that field that could come her way.

All students have to participate in 40 hours of Community Service......she participated in helping with organization of the Travis 4th of July Parade......She coached her competitive Cheer Team......She helped in her Church participating in Clean Ups after events.

Hailey will attend Pace University’s Westchester Campus in the fall semester 2018.

CHARLES, a gentleman and very soft spoken participated for 4 years on the Football Team, 3 years on the Wrestling Team. He was also on the Baseball Team and Track and Field Team for a shorter duration......He has earned for his efforts and participation in Football, The Fred Frugazi All-Star Award, All Conference Team Award, and Academic All City Award. Pretty impressive I thought. He has his Step-father to thank for his influencing him to try out for the football team.

He wants to play College Football and is interested in pursuing a career as an FBI agent after earning a degree in Criminal Justice which will have furthered his education in Criminal behavior and science.

He also gave 40 hours of his time to Community Service. From helping to clean the streets around Port Richmond, participating in Food Drives at Shoprite. He helped on field at games and also helped to tutor his disabled brother.

Charles will be attending Hartwick College in Oneonta NY in the fall of 2018.

We wish both of these students the best of everything in striving for their goals!




This years Awards Assembly took place on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. This year’s award went to Nicholas Fallon. As usual, we set a date to meet the recipient, and as usual that meeting took place in the College Advisor’s Office. That date this year was Friday, June 14th. I was excited as I usually am to meet Nick.

Nick was there when I arrived. It was a pleasure to meet this fine young man. He played baseball and football while in PRHS. Nick presents me with a thank you letter. He explains in his letter that he wasn’t viewing this achievement as a scholarship, but as a window of opportunity that is helping him turn his dreams into a reality. $3,000.00 by far is a substantial amount, but I was glad that he saw it as much more.

We talked a little about his future plans and he told me that he was taking his education into the field of Business. He’s interested in Advertising and would like to become an Advertising Manager. Because of his passion for sports and recognizing that he may not be able to play professionally, he definitely wants to include sports into his lifestyle and professional future. His dream would be to advertise or sell sports related items working for a company in the sports field,

Nick has goals, which I found impressive. He is willing I can see to do everything he can to overcome any adversity by working hard and moving past failure.




2020 a year filled with much distress. The Covid 19 virus hit this country and changed our lives tremendously. Students had to stay home and school learning went virtual. However, Port Richmond High School worked diligently to give their students the honor they deserved and filmed a beautiful ceremony streamed so everyone involved could attend, but keep socially distant and safe.

After the Awards Assembly, I usually meet with the recipient in person, but because the school was not open this was not possible. That’s one of the things that I love is getting to meet the recipients, talking with them for a while, getting to know them a little. A telephone conversation with Calvin had to suffice.

This year our award went to Calvin Barradas. Calvin participated in the Football program…….he felt that this program helped him to grow as a person through adversity, which helped in his personal life, mentally, physically and emotionally……..the sport was readily there for you he states.

When asked about any specific subject taken that he really enjoyed he told me that it actually was economics. He said his teacher really had the ability to keep the class focused and entertained at the same time infiltrating jokes here and there to make the atmosphere more conducive to learning, at least for him.

Calvin will attend the College of Staten Island in the fall and will be pursuing Psychology and Criminal justice.

Of course, we wish Calvin only the best and much success in his endeavors.



There was no award given in 2021





First we must begin by talking about the 2021 Awards……An award was not given out to any student in 2021 and we really felt badly about it, but with only two students submitting essays to explain why they deserved the award from Nick’s Fund we really didn’t have much of a choice to work with. Our criteria is: The student must have faced adversity, conquering it and gone on to achieve. Unfortunately, neither of the candidates met the criteria.

Now, 2022 turned out differently. We received two essays from two students who were extremely hard workers, receiving wonderful grades and certainly met our criteria. They had only been back for in-school learning for 18 months. Covid took much away from many, however, these two worked through it and went on to achieve.

The first student is Daysha Freemen. Daysha will attend City Tech in Brooklyn, New York. There she will be involved in a 2-year program for Radiologic Technology which will include performing CT Scans and MRIs. She will begin her studies in August 2022.

The second student is Sara Piecyk. Sara will be attending Pace University, The New York City Campus. She will be involved in a 4 year program to get her Bachelor’s Degree and hopefully she will go on to attain her Masters on Psychology. She will begin her studies September 7th.